Car Review: Aston Martin’s DBX
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Car Review: Aston Martin’s DBX

Car Review: Aston Martin’s DBX

We explore why Aston Martin’s DBX, its first SUV, has become the automaker’s top-selling model

Gulf Business

Aston Martin’s DBX, the company’s first SUV, was unveiled in 2020. In November this year, Aston Martin premiered the DBX 707, its performance variant, in the UAE – and has its hopes pinned on this model to power its sales in the coming months. As we look forward to reviewing the latest version in the coming days, we took the “original” for a spin to find out why this model has become one of bestsellers for the company since its launch.

All about performance

Let’s talk about DBX’s engine: the gearbox and the engine are both sourced from Mercedes AMG. The engine is a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 producing 542HP, which is mated to a 9-speed transmission, helping drive the engine’s power to all
four wheels. The performance and engine are both tuned to suit Aston Martin’s driving dynamics.

The car is fast, but doesn’t brazenly flaunt it. It glides from 0-100 in 4.5 seconds with ease, and you barely realise that you are at triple-digit speeds. The entire driving and handling package of the DBX is non-intrusive and super subtle. It can handle bends and curves effortlessly; it also manages its weight pretty efficiently.

And for those who are all about the engine’s sound, the DBX’s has a deep bellow; it’s not “obnoxiously” loud. 

One of the car’s cool features is the eARC system, which is Aston Martin’s speak for electronic anti-roll bars. This system, coupled with air suspension and six driving modes (GT, Sport, Sport+, Individual, Terrain and Terrain+), gives the DBX its great “driving” characteristics.

While all of this sounds too digital, the DBX’s drive experience is entirely analogue. You always feel that you are in charge rather than its electronic systems. Its electric power-assisted, rack and pinion steering system also provides a sense of oversteer and weighs up nicely.  

The gearbox is responsive enough and always has the correct gear available. The metal shifters also feel good if you want to take matters into your own hands. I preferred to use the car in GT or Sport+ whenever I wanted to push it. The Sport setting barely made any difference to the character of the vehicle.

If you’re inspired to take the DBX off-roading, its air-suspension system can raise the height, tweak the differentials and change the throttle map and inputs. It has two modes for off-roading: Terrain and Terrain+.

Designed to impress

The DBX carries the Aston Martin design DNA – it’s unmissable and aesthetic. It has a bonded aluminum structure and features hybrid materials to reduce its weight. All this impacts the car’s performance – in a good way.

The design features clear and clean lines, and has a swooping shoulder line that drops a little at the rear. It’s tapered, low roofline is reminiscent of a sports coupe. The wheelbase also stretches out with the wheels positioned at the very corners to further create the illusion of a sports car. 

The rear takes its design cues from the Vantage. However, it’s here that I felt the design doesn’t blend seamlessly with the rest of the car.  

The model I drove came with a bespoke paint finish courtesy of Aston Martin’s Q department, which will customise anything you desire in your vehicle. 

On the inside

The interiors are spacious: the car can seat five adults, but is at its most comfortable carrying four adults. The boot space, at a practical 632 litres, can fit bags, equipment and other items. The rear seats in the DBX also split-folds in a 40/20/40 formation, enabling additional space if required.

As expected, the car has luxurious leather upholstery from ceiling to carpet, adding to the feel of elegance that is expected of an Aston Martin. One thing that lets the DBX down is the old Mercedes infotainment system. It makes sense to have an analogue system in a sportscar where all your attention is on driving. But in a car that is designed for everyday use, you would want more modern infotainment and better ergonomics. 

The verdict

The DBX is a refined GT car for your family. It is an everyday super SUV with proper GT characteristics. 

It has everything you need: space, performance, pedigree and luxury. However, the segment it caters to is crowded with super SUVs from almost all manufacturers, so we look forward to seeing how the DBX 707 tips the scale when it hits the road. Watch this space for more on that. 

The DBX costs around Dhs1.1m. 

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